Positive classroom climate is another word that every educationalist is talking about these days. The fuss around this word has grabbed the attention of many and it turns out it may not be anything new. Teachers have been striving to create a healthy classroom environment since forever. Although, it is only now that experts are finding out the impact of the class environment on learning.
A positive classroom environment is the overall tone of the class. A positive environment makes a student feel welcome, peaceful, and comfortable whereas a negative environment creates an air of tension in a class which acts as a hurdle in learning of a student.
A positive classroom is not only beneficial for students, but it is equally beneficial for the teachers as well. Forming a strong bond with students in a healthy classroom environment will only make the job of teaching easier. A classroom that has a positive environment will make it easier for the teacher to deliver the instructions and for students to grasp complex ideas and concepts. A positive environment can only be created by a teacher. Many teachers believe that forming a positive environment in class has helped them boost overall class learning.
Here’s how teachers can achieve a healthy class environment;
Build Classroom Rules
To create a uniform and safe environment, your class must have a set of rules and regulations that students must follow. Setting rules will ensure class discipline and provide students with valid boundaries. In a classroom with rules, student will feel more safe and comfortable. You can ask your students for recommendations before preparing classroom rules. A predictable class environment is better than an arbitrary and rash one that would make your job harder for you.
Teachers do provide academic feedback to students, but behavioral feedback can be extremely effective as well. Stay in continuous communication with your students by providing them behavioral and academic feedback. This will allow the students to ponder on their mistakes and keep improving. Make sure that you are honest in your feedback so that students can gain something from your valuable input.
Make Learning Relevant
Teachers often complain that students don’t engage in class or pay attention. Although, it is not entirely the teacher’s fault, sometimes students lose interest because the topic is not relevant. Modern students have short attention spans and they lose interest in things that are not relevant to them. To achieve a well-mannered class who pays attention to your lectures, you may want to stick to the topic. Try explaining to them beforehand why the topic under discussion is important for their learning.
Promote Positive Peer Relationships
Many teachers have this ‘don’t talk’ rule in class, whereas experts believe that learning largely depends upon class engagement and communication. To gain a positive environment, a teacher must ensure that students feel supportive and positive towards each other. A positive peer relationship among students will enhance class bonding. Give your students the freedom to engage in healthy discussions in class. If you still want to stick to ‘No talking’ rule, then arrange class meetings at least twice a week to promote engagement and peer relationships in your class.
Employing a Suggestion Box
As mentioned earlier, remaining in contact with your students is extremely important as it helps boost class performance. A teacher could consider employing a suggestion box in the classroom that students can use. Mostly, it is only students that are expected to improve. Mistakes of teachers are usually overshadowed by those of students. To take your classroom to a continuous road of improvement, it is important to take the opinion of students into consideration.
Get to Know Your Students
Differentiation and achievement gap are two biggest challenges for any teachers. Teachers can easily overcome these challenges by knowing their students well. To form a healthy environment, teachers should know about the likes, dislikes, weaknesses, and strengths of their students. This would make it easier for the teacher to set a pace for class learning according to student abilities so that everyone can engage in class learning.
Employ Class-Building Games and Activities
Teacher-student and peer bonds are crucial to form a positive classroom climate. This bond can be achieved by employing class-building games and activities. Gamification is a new trend in EdTech that educators are embracing with open arms as it has proven to enhance class engagement. Teachers can incorporate activities that promote talking, engaging, and coordinating. This would add a lighthearted, but effective interactional environment in the classroom.
One of the major things that teachers can do to achieve a positive class climate is to make students feel welcomed. A lot of students refrain from class participation because they don’t feel welcomed or are scared of being judged by their peers or teachers. It becomes the responsibility of the teacher to form an environment where every student feels confident enough to raise hand and participate. Listening to student concerns without assuming and judging provides the student with the confidence to be more participating and engaging.
Modern students don’t prefer the traditional mode of communication, although this same communication comes in handy in practical life. It is crucial that teachers create a wholesome class environment that would motivate the students to engage in class conversations. An inclusive, healthy, and nonjudgmental classroom plays a key role in the formation of a positive class climate.